That’s it: I turned 39. My “thirties” are just about over. Egad, what a tumultous time. Holy cowabunga that was a lot to go through in only ten years.
A long time ago, my grandmother (who refuses to be called ‘grandmother,’ so we combine her name, Ellarmilda, and Grandmother, and call her Gramilda) told me, “Life begins at 40.” She said at 40 she knew enough about herself to start living each day more fully, and she got more joy out of life, and she didn’t worry about the small stuff so much anymore, and her kids were grown up and she didn’t have to expend so much energy on them and could get back to her own life, etc. etc. She simply beamed.
I was so convinced, that I’ve been looking forward to 40 ever since. But now I’m awfully close to 40, and I don’t buy it anymore. Life just gets harder and harder. True living was when I was in my twenties, and just DID whatever came to my silly noggin. And I thrilled in every moment of it and spread my joy far and wide and didn’t ask if anyone was in the mood to receive it.
My thirties started off with an incredible growth spurt, when at age 30 I went through a total spiritual and psychological transformation and became me finally. I suspect that’s what Gramilda was talking about. It’s hard to live authentically, but I get so much more joy out of life now, I feel like I’m participating more fully, I am able to take more responsibility for what I do to myself. And I’m able to keep up my hope when I realize my ups and downs are entirely dependent upon my efforts to work hard, work smart, and keep a healthy perspective.
By the end of my thirties though, I am tired. It’s not just hard to live authentically; it’s exhausting. I have a growing tendency to slip into temporary denial just so I can quit freaking out all the time. If I am aware, then I have to be fully aware. I have to care and become educated about everything, or I shouldn’t form a single opinion or make a single sentence. That’s unrealistic, of course, but I’m having a hard time finding a nice balance. I make one dumb remark, and beat myself up for it for the next 6 months.
Problem is, I can be such a spontaneous, passionate person! I love that about myself, but it sure does lead one to trouble. 🙂 I eat foot sandwiches all the time.
So what will my forties bring?
Based on the success of last year’s list, which I was so delighted to find recently, I will make another list, and try to be focused, grounded, grateful, genuine, humble, and open to my future – whatever it is.
My fantasies for 2009:
1. Have enough money to start paying the mortgage again, however that comes about
2. Make time to have fun with my daughter and not be such a mom all the time
3. See Marcus Eaton live again
4. Use my frequent flier miles to go somewhere amazing
5. See all three of my brothers in the flesh
6. Gain some self-confidence at work so that no matter how many times my coach tells me to do more, I don’t take it as such a personal blow
7. Finish my Shemya book. Even in draft form. If I wrote 45,000 words in 2008, I can do it again in 2009, and be done.
8. Stay open to what the Universe provides for me. Stop trying to bully my way through. Stop trying to control the direction. Stop trying to control the definition of my success, and my path toward it. Give it up. Have some peace. Accept help from others. Be graceful in acknowledging my ignorance, while maintaining my strength and confidence and power and beauty.
Wish me luck. And I’ll wish you love